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Elanora Branch Library, Queensland, Australia


Elanora Branch Library
Elanora Branch Library

Name of the Library: Elanora Branch Library
Parent Organisation: City of Gold Coast

Street Address: Pines Shopping Centre, Guineas Creek Rd, Elanora QLD 4221, Australia
Postal Address: PO Box 5042, GCMC QLD 9729, Australia
Telephone : 61 7 5581 1671
(incl Country code)
Web Address:
Library Email:

Type of Library: Regional Library
Population served: 50205
Project Type: New Building
Size (square metres): 2627
Date of Completion: 2007
Architect: Dale Cohen Architects


The Elanora Branch Library was designed as a “floating” elevated faceted and sculptured form a-top a columned base to integrate with the busy Pines Shopping Centre. The design creates a library that is exciting to visit, easy to use and manage. The library has been designed as a place to meet and interact. Landscaping, paved open areas, outdoor seating, abundant parking and easy proximity to the surrounding facilities makes the Library an ideal community meeting space. The internal space has a modernist, clean line aesthetic that defines the functionality of the space for designated user age groups and activities.

The Library was funded under a public private partnership between the QLD State Government, HSP – the owners of the shopping centre, and the City of Gold Coast. Costing around $10.6 million to build, it features ecologically-sustainable design elements. Its climate sensitive design, including numerous solar/energy initiatives and water efficiency systems enabled this civic building to achieve a high benchmark standard for sustainability.


The Library offers a full range of programs and services, both internally and through outreach activities in the community. Through the wider City of Gold Coast Library network, Elanora offers the local community access to nearly 1 million items in a range of formats, access to computers, Wi-Fi and meeting rooms. Regular and varied programs, designed for junior, youth and adults are offered on a regular basis. Computer skills, general lifestyle and leisure to at-home business development are all on offer. Like-minded people meet in the Library to improve their English language skills, discuss books, tell stories, discuss knitting patterns, and play mah-jong and much more.

Awards, case studies, further informationGold Coast Urban Design Award for Public Architecture (2007)
2007 Community Service Facility $2m – $10m State and Regional

Katoomba Library, NSW, Australia

Katoomba Library and Cultural Centre

Name of the Library: Katoomba Library
Parent Organisation: Blue Mountains City Council

Street Address: 30 Parke St Katoomba NSW 2780 AUSTRALIA
Postal Address: Blue Mountains City Council Locked Bag 1005 Katoomba NSW 2780 AUSTRALIA
Telephone : +612 4780 5750

Web Address: or
Library Email:

Type of Library: Joint use
Population served: 15,000
Project Type: New Building
Size: (square metres): 896m2
Date of Completion: November 2012
Architect: Building by Hassells Architects 
Interior Design & Fitout by CK Design International

Childrens area with '3 Sisters seating'
Childrens area with ‘3 Sisters seating’

With a panoramic vista as the backdrop, the Blue Mountains City Library opened the new Katoomba Library branch on Saturday 17 November, 2012.

Situated within the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre, the Library boasts the best views of any Library in the southern hemisphere. With plenty of natural light and lots of comfortable spaces for diverse community activities, it is also the first new library to be built in the Blue Mountains for over 30 years. The design, developed by CK Design International, is elegant and spacious, taking advantage of the location to provide breath-taking views of the Katoomba Township and the Jamison Valley beyond.

Since the grand opening, there has been a steady stream of members and visitors, with new membership rates across the library network increasing by up to 87%. Fortunately, the new building has nearly 3 times more space to accommodate this increase!   Numbers through the door doubled immediately and have continued to grow, month by month!

The new library includes adjustable meeting rooms, an inviting children’s area with specialised seating, and a mezzanine level with a brilliant view and lots of comfortable lounges allowing people to sit back and appreciate living in a World Heritage listed area. A laptop bench with plenty of access to power points and an increase in the number of computers available to the public have quickly proved themselves to be valuable aspects of the new library.

Meeting rooms host a number of events, from Author talks, to book launches, Poetry Slams, Children’s School Holiday activities, Storytimes, writing workshops, book groups and so much more. The Library has become an integral community hub.

If you haven’t had a chance to see this impressive new building yet, it is well worth a visit. Make a day of it and browse the library, tour the Art Gallery and Blue Mountains World Heritage Exhibition, get lunch or a coffee from the Cultural Centre Café.

Katoomba Library
Katoomba Library

Awards, case studies, further information

The overall winner, and winner of the Education category, was the impressive design by CK Design International of the Katoomba Library. A playful and inspiring interior, the judges commented, “How wonderful that a public project was able to be created into a comfortable healthy space that feels like you are in your own living room. The coupling of green interior products and design in this public building enables an extended reach of education about sustainability.”

Ryde Library, NSW, Australia


Ryde Library’s Distinctive Exterior.
Ryde Library’s Distinctive Exterior.

Name of the Library: Ryde Library
Parent Organisation: Council of the City of Ryde

Street Address: 1 Pope St, RYDE NSW 2112
Postal Address: Locked Bag 2069, North Ryde 1680
Telephone : (+612) 9952 8352
(incl Country code)
Web Address:
Library Email:

Type of Library Central/ Main Library
Population served: 124, 505
Project Type : New Building
Size (square metres): 2031
Date of Completion: May 2011
Architect: Graham Bakewell Architects

Ryde Library Grand Piano

Ryde Library is an inspiration of light, colour and activity, designed to create an inviting people space. Its clever use of subtle design elements creates a fresh, clean look that seamlessly guides foot traffic and meets the diverse needs of library users. Located next to the restaurants of a bustling shopping centre, the library is in an ideal location to be the heart of its community.

Its key strengths can be detailed in two ways; its form and flexibility.
In terms of form, Ryde Library has streamlined the traditional library model by zoning its floor plan and controlling curve and shape to direct pedestrian traffic. Areas are co-located by noise level and purpose. The entrance to the library gives way to a cathedral like area where computers, graphic novels and junior fiction are grouped in an exciting area. Long, stretching windows festooned with lounge chairs fill this vibrant and high energy space with light and the sprawling vista of the bustling highway below. There can be no mistake, with its array of comfortable chairs and tables, this area is intended for collaboration. The second, quieter area forested with the collection and desk/booth style seating is the domain of quiet study and book perusal, flagged by a lower ceiling and the nested design of the shelving.

Ryde Library Genre and Subject Rooms
Ryde Library Genre and Subject Rooms

An innovative use of curves and angles attracts the eye and prompts library users into a walking flow that offers them a view of all available areas as they pass before delivering them directly into the library’s extensive collection. Colours also interplay with shape to allow for the easy identification of key areas. Walls curve and stretch, blazoned in a bright orange that pulls the library user into the space. This is complemented by orange and green lounging chairs which line walls and furnish nooks to keep the eye engaged. Angled rooms combine with angled shelving configurations to encourage users to leave no path unexplored.
In terms of flexibility, the library floor plan is easily worked into multiple configurations. With all its shelving on wheels and with movable furniture, the library can be moulded to fit its current purpose or need. Events and programs with larger audiences can easily be accommodated by adjusting shelving placement and supplying additional lightweight seating that would normally reside out of sight in nearby storage. For example, large authors platform events with journalist Paul Barry (2014) and astronomer Fred Watson (2013) that brought over one hundred attendees were easily furnished through the innate dexterity of the floor plan. Wheeled tables in meeting rooms allow for space repurposing for small events of fifty or less. Cushioned ‘lilypads’ and bollards transform the children’s area from an exploratory, self-determined space into a welcoming, softer zone for Rhymetimes and Storytimes where library staff can seamlessly create parking space for prams, direct incoming pedestrian traffic and engage audiences of one hundred or more at a time. After the session, the area easily returned to its former glory with the reintroduction of games and equipment, including a giant chess set.
This flexibility also allows the accommodation of ‘reading nooks’ and ‘genre rooms’ as library shelving can be easily moved to create corners and enclosed areas. These inviting alcoves, fitted with low tables and lounge chairs, create a feeling of comfort and protection. These niches surround the reader in their subject or genre of choice – Students, for example, throng together in the science and technology section as they study and use the resources (and gossip too) while the Lee Child enthusiast will pull up a chair in the curve of the crime and mystery section, looking over to the thriller section, encasing them in a visual representation of their favourite stories and novels. Well placed television screens provide a rotating presentation of library events and information, while a large projection screen beyond the service desk provides an ever-changing display of favourite literary quotes, poems and artworks to inspire readers old and new. Power sockets and library wifi allow users to choose any area that pleases them.
Ryde Library continues to experience growth in visits, loans and wifi logins which demonstrates its growing role in the local community. Its clear and distinctive design makes it an evident landmark and a vibrant community space. Its form provides easy access to its treasures, as its flexibility tailors to the breadth of the library’s services.

Helensvale Library, Queensland, Australia

Helensvale main entry
Helensvale Library main entry. John Mills Photography

Library Name: Helensvale Branch Library
Parent Organisation: City of Gold Coast

Street Address: Cnr Lindfield Road and Sir John Overall Drive, Helensvale, Gold Coast, QLD 4212 AUSTRALIA
Postal Address: PO Box 5042, GCMC, QLD 9729, AUSTRALIA
Telephone: + 61 7 55811625
Web address:

Type of Library: Medium size town library ,Multipurpose  building
Population served:
Project Type: New Building
Size (square metres): Building 4895m2 Library space: 2437m2
Date of Completion: July 2013
Architect: Lahznimmo architects

John Mills Photography
John Mills Photography

Opening in July 2013, Helensvale Branch Library and Cultural centre is a city first for the City of Gold Coast. Incorporating a large multi-level branch library, 208 seat auditorium, Media Lab, Recording Studio, Dance/ rehearsal rooms, community meeting spaces and Divisional Councillor’s office, this building provides the community access to a range of City services in one location.

In addition to a large library with a collection of over 110,000 items, the building encourages increased community engagement through access to a range of other service and facilities. The building has a large open public piazza and internal foyer space called the Neighbourhood Room and this space, while connecting the range of services available, is also used to host a variety of activities for the community and private organisations.

Helensvale Branch Library houses the Gold Coast Media Lab. The Media Lab is a digital design and innovation space and is available to residents to work individually or collaboratively on digital projects. The Lab also offers 3D printing to the public using a Projet 260c conceptual model making printer. The 3D printer is a manufacturing quality printer and offers the community access to advance 3D technology and is the first publicly available 3D printer of its kind in Australasia. The Media Lab offers a range of advance computer training programs to the public including 3D design, graphic design, audio visual creation, web design, coding and app creation.

Through spaces like the Media Lab, Recording Studio and Auditorium, City Libraries has had the opportunity to develop and promote creative and cultural opportunities through partnerships with local agencies and groups. City Libraries has supported the first “artist in Residence” youth theatre and the development of a theatre development program through use of the auditorium and library spaces for rehearsal and performance space. The Media Lab has supported a local design artist to produce an augmented reality sculpture and is supporting local business through access to digital resources. In turn these partnerships have allowed the Library to deliver advanced library programming to customers including 3D design and web creation workshops.

The branch library has a large youth demographic within its community and as part of its focus has worked on improving engagement with people aged 0 to 20. With a purpose built children’s area (including its own slide), the library encourages children to engage with the library in a fun and new way. The library’s regular children’s literacy programmes frequently have over 60 children attend each weekly session.

In addition to the regular children’s programming, the library engages with the teen demographic through encouraging the library as a study and social meeting place. The library successfully delivers teen programming throughout the year including weekly drop-in events, yoga sessions and after-hours teen only sessions in the library. In May 2014, Helensvale hosted the inaugural Gold Coast Teen Tech Week event. Over 90 teenagers engaged with the Tech Week events including coding, app creation, music editing, 3D design and printing and an online gaming challenge.

Monthly, on average, Helensvale Branch Library provides library service to 25,500 people, loaning 55,000 items to customers and delivers 50 events to an audience of 900 people.

Helensvale Childrens
Helensvale children’s area. John Mills Photography.

Awards, case studies, further information
• March 2014: Lahznimmo architects and Complete Urban receive Public Architecture Commendation for Helensvale Branch Library and Community Cultural Youth Centre at the AIA 2014 Queensland Regional Architecture Awards Gold Coast & Northern Rivers.
Architecture and Design: Learned architecture: Australia’s best new libraries for 2014,
ArchDaily article on building
Article written by architect

City Library in Zagreb, Croatia

City Library in Zagreb
City Library in Zagreb

Name of the Library: City Library in Zagreb
Parent Organisation: Zagreb City Libraries

Street Address:Starčević Square 6
Postal Address:10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Telephone :+385 (0)1 4694 300
Web Address:

Type of Library: Central/ Main Library
Population served: General population, students, pupils, children and young adults, LIS professionals, etc.
Project Type: Conversion
Size (square metres): 2,560 m²
Date of Completion: 1895
Architect: Leo Hönigsberg and Julije Deutsch

Zagreb City Library departments
Zagreb City Library departments

The City Library is located in the very city centre, just a few steps away from the Central Train Station and a few minutes from the main square in a building Starčević’s House. The building was built in 1895 and the interior was slightly remodelled to accommodate the City Library in 1995. Departments and collections are situated on three floors within the building. Reference and Information Department is on the ground level, together with Daily and Weekly Newspapers Reading room, Central Ruthenium and Ukrainian Library, Bindery and a part of technical services. Administrative offices, Newspapers and Periodicals Reading room with spaces for quiet study and the Collection of rare and valuable books and manuscripts RaRa are on the first floor. The RaRa collection includes incunabula dating from the 1487, valuable editions of the Croatian and European heritage and many glagolic scripts from the 16th century. Second floor accommodates the Acquisition and Processing Department, Reference Collection Reading room with spaces for quiet study, the LIS Collection and Local History Collection Zagrabiensia. Research and Development Department for public and school libraries and Financial and accounting Service are on the 3rd floor. Two main exhibition areas and galleries are in the entrance area and on the 3rd floor, while other places are multifunctional and can be used for various art and music event. Music Department and Department for Children and Young Adults are adjacent to the main library building. The Department for Children and Young Adults was founded in 1950 as first children’s library in Croatia. It also houses the Croatian Centre for Children’s Book that in 1995 became the Croatian section of IBBY and the

Zagreb City Library Programs
Zagreb City Library Programs

Media Department.

The City Library cooperates with local administration, many cultural, educational and professional institutions and associations and other interested partners, while more than 50 volunteers are actively included in various library programmes. Main goal is to provide better programmes and services for different library users (children, young adults, people with disabilities, elderly, etc.) that anticipate and satisfy their needs and encourage social inclusion. Recently developed and implemented programmes are: Zita Reads – I’m Your Dog, Read to me Aloud (for encouraging reading literacy with children), 65+ (for the elderly), A book for a Roof (for the homeless) and Library Doors Wide Open (for people with disabilities, such as Let’s Learn About Musical Instruments programme for the blind and visually impaired) that have been internationally recognized (e.g. programme A Book for a Roof has been awarded with the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme for 2011/2012.).

Awards, case studies, further information
IRA Award for Innovative Reading Promotion (2001)
Charter of the City of Zagreb for 50th Anniversary of the Literary Friday (2005)
City of Zagreb Award (2007)
ERSTE Foundation Award for social inclusion projects in middle and South-East Europe (2007)
EIFL – Public Library Innovation Programme for 2011/2012

Stadtbücherei Wermelskirchen, Germany

Name of the Library Stadtbücherei Wermelskirchen
Parent Organisation: Stadt Wermelskirchen

Street Address:Kattwinkelstr. 3, 42929 Wermelskirchen
Telephone :)+492196710410
Web Address
Library Email

Type of Library : Small

Population served: about 35.000
Project Type: Conversion

Size (square metres): 800 m2
Date of Completion 1991
Architect Hilverkus/Staller/Reinhardt

A public library in an industrial building with a sawtooth-roof, successful conversion of an existing building, which is under a preservation order.

Eltham Library, Victoria, Australia

Eltham Library
Name of the Library: Eltham Library
Parent Organisation: Yarra Plenty Regional Library Service

Street Address: Panther Place, Eltham, Victoria, Australia, 3095
Postal Address: Panther Place, Eltham, Victoria, Australia, 3095
Telephone : 61 3 9439 9266
(incl Country code)
Web Address
Library Email

Type of Library District Library
Population served: 22,347
Project Type:
Size (square metres):
Date of Completion: 1994 (original building), 2010 (extension & renovation)
Architect: Greg Burgess

Eltham 1


The award-winning, heritage listed Eltham Library is situated next to parklands and cafes in the Shire of Nillumbik. It offers a unique children’s garden and a beautiful children’s room, a learning lounge and over 40 public computers, a reading lounge with fireplace and a foyer with community art space. There is even an automated book return and sorter!

Eltham 2
• Internet access
• Word processing and publishing software
• Colour photocopier/printer/scanner (to email or USB)
• Café
• Gallery space
• Laptop facilities and study area
• Free WiFi
• Nintendo Wii
• 8 seat learning lounge with PCs (available for community groups to book)
• Children’s garden
• Outdoor reading area
• Adjacent to the picturesque Alistair Knox Park